Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense were on board a plane carrying 81 people that crashed in Colombia killing 76 people, police said on Tuesday.
Chapecoense, from Brazil’s top league, had been flying in to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of Wednesday’s Sudamericana final, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.
“Six people were rescued alive, but unfortunately one died. The rest of the occupants unfortunately died. The tragic toll is 76 victims,” Jose Gerardo Acevedo, regional police commander, told journalists.
The club said in a statement that it would not be making any official comments until it had more information from Colombian authorities about Monday night’s crash. Brazilian media reported that three players were among the survivors.
A Chape, através de seu vice-presidente Ivan Tozzo, aguarda a manifestação oficial da autoridade aérea colombiana para emitir nota oficial.— Chapecoense (@ChapecoenseReal) November 29, 2016
Flight tracking service Flightradar24 said on Twitter the last tracking signal from flight 2933 had been received when it was at 15,500 feet, about 30 km from its destination, which sits at an altitude of 7,000 feet.
The Avro RJ85 was produced by a company that is now part of UK’s BAE Systems
The charter flight was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, when it crashed around 10:15 p.m. on Monday. Heavy rain first hampered and then halted rescue operations. Officials told local media that bodies would be removed once the sun rose.
The Chapecoense football team was among the 72 passengers and 9 crew on board the charter aircraft when it crashed around 10:15 p.m. on Monday. The Colombia’s civil aviation authority published a full passenger list on its Facebook page.
The South American football federation suspended all games and other activities after the crash.
It was the first time the small club from Chapeco had ever reached the final of a major South American club competition but they were underdogs against a club going for a rare double after winning the Copa Libertadores in July.
A video published on the team’s Facebook page showed the team readying for the flight earlier Monday in Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos international airport.
The team, from the small city of Chapeco, joined Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it to the Copa Sudamericana finals last week by defeating Argentina’s legendary San Lorenzo squad. Chapecoense were the 21st biggest club in Brazil in terms of revenue, bringing in 46 million reais ($13.5 million) in 2015, according to an annual rich list compiled by Brazilian bank Itau BBA.